August Adds More Jobs, Unemployment Declines Slightly
August showed weaker job growth and downward revisions to the previous two months. Unemployment ticked down slightly but mostly on a decline in participation. But this is only bad news if you want the economy to be rotten in order to make President Obama look bad.
The best part of this report for me is what folks will say about part time jobs. In August workforce numbers showed we added 118,000 new full time jobs and lost 234,000 part time jobs. Remember a few months ago when we lost 240,000 full time and added 360,000 part time? Folks said that was the new trend and blamed "Obamacare" for it.
Now we see it was exactly as I said at the time: Part time and full time jobs fluctuate greatly each month but overall the ratio of the two stays very close to the same. That number is generally 82% to 18% but for the past three years it's stayed pretty steady at 81% to 19%.
This attack on part time versus full time jobs is just a sign that folks are running out of things to complain about with the economy. It's not enough every month to say "this growth is too dang slow" so folks instead just discount the growth itself.
My favorite chart is still the one with the big four indicators. Our economy continues to grow while each month folks work harder and harder to ignore it and sweep manure over the green shoots in housing, in state and local government job growth, and overall job growth. All in all we've seen 7.4 million new private sector payroll jobs since jobs started to return to the economy. That's getting harder and harder to shrug off.
Posted by Adam Ducker at September 6, 2013 11:17 AM
Thanks again for providing the employment statistical information this month. I did see reports that the US added 169,000 jobs last month but you provide additional insight that indicates much more than a number can.
You are absolutely correct only those with a vested interest in seeing our economy falter will still try to find fault with these statistics. While I don’t think our economy is as robust as it could be by a long shot, I find it amazing that we have been able to sustain a minimal amount of growth consistently when the primary objective of conservatives/Republicans/and so called independents for our President’s first term in office was to “make him a one term president” and then did everything they could to bring that to fruition. I am glad that they were unsuccessful in their attempt and don’t understand why they thought that was the best thing for their country. I do understand that they do not like President Obama and wanted to see him fail desperately. But to the detriment of their own country? Nose, face and a lot of spite there.
I don’t see how you can call this anything but bad news. Unemployment dropped because people stopped looking for work; labor force participation is lower than anytime since 1978. And despite that, we still have unemployment higher than anytime in the last quarter century BO (before Obama). Most of the new jobs created are low paying ones. Income growth is stagnated.
This is the longest period of sustained doldrums in my life, and I am pretty old. Even in the generally crappy 1970s and early 1980s, we had some periods of very robust growth and we added 1,114,000 jobs in one month in September 1983.
The added problem is that the best months for this recovery were way back in 2010. That was just before the summer of recovery that never really came. In fact, we lost jobs.
I take no joy in this. In fact the Obama doldrums p*ss me off. My college educated son is working at Applebees. My daugher who gradated summa cum laude from UVA cannot move ahead because nobody at her company gets promoted or leaves in this crappy economy. Even with the little housing “boom” the wood I sell hardly pays for the harvesting.
Hard times usually end. I think that Obama has actually retarded the natural recovery of the economy, but I am willing to believe that he caused no harm. He sure didn’t do any good, however.
It reminds me of the passage from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner when they were in the doldrums.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.
Jack, you’d bitch if you were hung with a brand-new rope!
It just is not working.
I am naturally optimistic. I have faith in my country, but I think we are off on the wrong track. Five years of bad economy is enough.
QE infinity, $85 billion a month and these few crappy jobs are all we are getting? The FED is whispering about tapering, yeah right ramp it up is more likely. I’d hate to see the numbers without all the reckless easy money policies that are propping up this anemic economy and Wall Street.
I graduated in 1985 and moved cross country to Los Angeles to get my first job. My step-daughter graduated in 2011 and was able to get a job in her field by moving to Atlanta. Kids can do it if they get outside their comfort zone. Send your kid to the Newport News Apprentice School. He’ll make money and in 4 years he’ll have a skill that will be valuable for the rest of his life. To this day I wish I could burn rod, wire a house, or fix my own HVAC.
That said this is a pretty crappy job environment especially if you are unskilled. My wife is looking at part time jobs instead of driving 160mi/day, but she is competing against kids for those. It’s tough to change if you are not mobile.
Well, I’m glad the conservatives all agree slow economic growth is a problem. Now if we could only get them to acknowledge the fiscal drag from all their wonderful austerity!
I think we do indeed need to rethink college. Not everyone needs or should go to college. For many and for our country, trades will be a better option.
I suppose we could talk about the fiscal drag of the tax increase a few months ago, but I don’t think you want to give that back.
But this is only bad news if you want the economy to be rotten in order to make President Obama look bad.
We don’t have to make Obama look bad. He’s doing a fine job of that himself.
Jimmy Carter must be happy. Obama has returned us to Carter’s days in office with feckless foreign policy and slow economic growth. However, most folks believed Carter was at least honest. Anytime Obama’s lips are moving, he’s lying.
For example, Obama said he didn’t set a “red line” with Syria’s use of chemical weapons. The world did. He’s one hell of a spinmaster. I’ll give him that. He makes Dick Cheney look like an amateur.
Yeah, he’s only being helped along by a Darrell Issa, who seems to have a bad habit of trying to manufacture scandals. For example, only asking the inspector general of the IRS to look into cases of directed audits that involved conservatives. No, nobody needed the context of all those other groups being given the same treatment.
Then there’s Fast and Furious, which seems, when you get the real facts, to be a scandal that’s mostly about Republicans punishing the ATF for not pursuing the gunrunners the Republicans keep gun laws too lax and reporting systems too ancient to allow them to catch.
And there’s Benghazi, which seems to be the mutated asscovering of Mitt Romney and his crass attempt to turn the tragedy there into another Iran hostage crisis, in hopes history would repeat.
Again and again, folks like you seem to rely on less than fair and balanced criteria for creating a scandal. My thought? You have ****ty politicians who don’t want to improve big government by getting any better at their jobs, so you essentially blast any Democrat and exaggerate any scandal in government in order to buy yourself political capital.
Problem is, it’s left your movement and party hiring idiots who just know how to throw the sharpest elbows, not statesmen and leaders who know that the Constitution was mean to give life to a FUNCTIONING government, not an eternally gridlocked one.
Whose children do you feel should go to Trade Schools and whose should go to college?
Germany did this approach and it has created a tiered society where the rich go to college and everyone else goes to trade schools.
My eldest son would probably be better off with a trade. He just did not get along with college. I am trying to expose him to the forestry business and hope he can work his way up in foresty-ag-energy. My daughter went to a top college and got excellent grades. She wants to open a dance studio. My younger son is studying computer engineering. It is actually a type of trade, since it teaches technical skills.
My cousin got a degree in history and could not find a job. He learned to be an electrician and makes more money than most of his class mates.
Whose children should go to trade schools? It doesn’t matter whose children; what matters is the skills and preferences of those kids.
I know you intended to make some kind of class conscious statement, but that kind of thing doesn’t work with me. I grew up working class, but I see the bigger picture and the changed world.
Having spent time in Europe myself I think you make a very valid point. A definite haves and have nots distinction exists in the field of higher learning. I am glad that the USA does not have quite that apparent distinction yet(well there is Ivy League and then everyone else though). It is incumbent on us to see what can happen when the system is left to the forces of the market/business side of higher learning. I know C/J has a penchant for really disliking Affirmative Action however I can’t help thinking what the European higher learning could be if something similar to that (perhaps not race based but subsistence based) had been implemented. Perhaps it would have prevented what you say Germany has come to.
I though you all liked the more social-democratic Euro countries. They have free or cheaper college than we do.
Re affirmative action - I want to seek excellence. Indeed, I want poor kids whose parent’s first language was not English and/or whose relatives have never been to college to have a chance, but I want them to work for that chance and deserve the distinction they achieve. We all have responsibilities to each other and to our country.
People should take pride in any job they do well and should be ashamed of anything they do poorly. I was proud to work with my hands and I still do lots of really heavy work when called for. I regret that people like you think there is shame in that.
Our k-12 system fails to educate many students, even though we spend more per pupil than any other country in the world and some of the highest spending districts produce the worst results. This is what we need to work with.
Many students from poor backgrounds are not ready for the top schools. They can prosper if they have a chance to work up to it, but would drown if thrown in the deep water right off the bat. In America, we have great opportunities. But people like you disrespect the ones that really help pull people out of poverty. Your kind is the problem, with you soft bigotry of low expectations.
I know that it is possible for a poor kid from a family of HS dropouts, whose first-generation immigrant father learned English as a second language to go through American public schools and achieve success. The NYC public schools, when they were most crowed and poor produced leaders and Nobel Prize winners. We can do it. THEY can do it if we let them and demand excellence.
I have noticed a marked difference in your postings when compared to 6 or 7 years ago. Jack would never twist a commenter’s words to suit his own position. I always saw a much more dignity and respect in his postings than I do today.
Please point out where I have maintained that I liked social-Democratic Euro countries. Speaking of that spent a year in Iceland. Reykavik has free heat pumped in from the geysers in the lava fields, the country offers completely free education from pre-school through doctorate degrees and they have a very low crime rate. Come to think of it there are some great ideas used in European countries but I still can’t remember ever saying that I liked them. See Jack wouldn’t have done that.
And again point out when I ever said there was shame in hard work. The Jack I appreciated reading back then (even if I didn’t agree with him) would not stoop to that level. I believe some of the hatred and nonsense that those fellows you have been rubbing elbows with at the table of discontent has begun rubbing off on to you.
Also please tell me when I have ever disrespected anyone who helps pull people out of poverty, you can’t.
I want the old Jack back. The one I could admire for truth and veracity even if I didn’t agree with his opinions. Hey wait a minute, is this C?
Most of the liberals on this blog seem to like the more social democratic policies of the big European countries. I am sorry if you were not among them. But it is true that our Euro friends offer publicly funded universities.
I wonder whether my liberal friends prefer opportunity or equality. The two are often stated in the same breath, but they tend to be mutually exclusive to some extent. You often need to trade one for the other.
Re the debate here - there has been a fall off. We have few writers anymore. Beyond that, in the past I was defending. Today I am in opposition. But what I have found unappealing is that my liberal friends have often forgotten their own words. I was an easy thing to quote Stephen, for example, and to use his very words against Obama. I have remained more consistent.
With liberals, we have a problem of picking up both ends of the stick. You all used to argue against Bush etc and seek changes in policies. Today when conditions are worse in most ways, you still argue against Bush. He still gets blamed. Whenever Obama fails, it is always not his fault. It makes me wonder why you think it useful to elect a liberal Democrat.
Since I might consider myself a recent liberal friend, I hope, I will quote that great American President Theodore Roosevelt in answer to your question:
“Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled.”
Teddy wouldn’t last a minute on this blog. Way to sensible and willing to see another one’s point of view, I believe.
I don’t see it as an either or choice but a goal to attain. You promote your methods and I can promote mine, if they conflict we make our own decisions what we like and don’t like about each others beliefs and aspirations.
I don’t blame Bush for anything more than I am certain he himself holds blame for. I don’t think conditions are worse today then they were when he was in office. Again you cannot point out when I have argued against Bush, please stop lumping me in with whatever you feel “all” liberals are and I will try to do the same with you.
I think it useful to vote for a liberal Democrat for President because he holds a lot of the same values and beliefs that I do. Not exactly the same and not exactly always able to produce results from those values and beliefs that I am in complete agreement with.
Speaking of opposing and defending. I had a great debate teacher who would hand out 3 debate subjects that we would have to make a decision on and then hold a pro or con position. But when it came to the debate the most popular subject was chosen but we were instructed to take the opposite position that we stated, pro if we were con and con if we were pro. Very difficult but made for some great debating if you held and open mind. It also brought me into the world of always trying to see my greatest debate foes strengths and weaknesses and recognize them for what they were.
I cannot point to your arguing against Bush since you just got here. Beyond that, I don’t generally do that kind of research. I did it a few times with Stephen and it didn’t help anyway.
Re Theodore Roosevelt - I believe in opportunity and responsibility. Exercising these will lead to inequality.
Re opposing - I know that many here actually thought Bush was bad. I believe that many Obama policies are seriously misguided. When I complain about them, it is negative.
I don’t hate Obama. I think he is inexperienced and arrogant and that gets us in trouble. I think Holder is a positive menace. But Kerry is okay and Duncan is good.
Great, unemployment is declining. So the Fed has some strong reasons to taper back on its monetary stimulus program and let free trade prevail, right? But…. wait, the Fed announced to maintain a status quo on stimulus. This surprise from the Fed proved bullish for gold and even the stock market rose to a near three year high!!